By: John Molori
July 26, 2005

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THIS WEEK:

- Camp is calling
- WEEI does it again
- Sporting sales
- Ten to Watch

National and local stations head to summer camp

While the New England Patriots officially open their 2005 regular season on September 8 under the bright lights of Gillette Stadium and an ABC national television audience, training camp begins on Friday and local and national stations will be on the scene.

Boston's WB56 will have day-to-day coverage. Says Emmy-winning sports director Mike Ratte, "We'll be looking for features as we go along, and probably some one on one player interviews. I can't believe that camp is already here."

CBS4 will also be at training camp. "We are looking forward to doing something meaningful other than wall to wall baseball. Hey, the Sox may be out of it when the NFL season opens," jokes WBZ sports legend Bob Lobel. Channel 4 is covering camp with Alice Cook and Steve Burton. They will also be broadcasting live from Gillette Stadium for early sportscasts and filing news and notes segments for the 11:00 p.m. sportscast.

Similarly, Butch Stearns and Fox25 will have a nightly Patriots training camp report on the 10:00 p.m. news. NESN's expanded "SportsDesk" will provide daily reports from training camp and throughout the season. The network will have up to three segments for each nightly half-hour show the week of A ugust 1.

Segments will include interviews with Patriots players and management as well as insight from Boston Globe reporters from training camp. "SportsDesk " delivers a half-hour live sportscast every night following Red Sox baseball coverage (10:00 PM on non-game nights) and a 15-minute rotating program every morning between 5 and 9:00 a.m.

On NECN, Laura Behnke will be at the opening of camp live on Friday afternoon and file a complete report on Sports Late Night at 11:00 p.m. Behnke and Mike Giardi will have coverage next week as well. Fox Sports Net's "New England Sports Tonight" (weeknights, 6:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.) will also be at training camp Friday and throughout next week.

On a national scale, NFL Network will visit eight different NFL training camps in August for their new series "Inside Training Camp" (ITC) hosted by Derrin Horton. The program airs throughout August on Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning August 2 at 8:00 p.m. with the New York Jets.

Other teams include the Titans, Bengals, Colts, Texans, Jaguars and Seahawks. Through wireless microphones on multiple players and coaches, ITC hopes to capture the sights and sounds of camp, as well as providing the latest news, injury updates and position battles.

If you are wondering how the ITC teams were selected and why the Patriots are not featured, NFL Network PR man Patrick Pantano states, "There was no master selection process. We invited all 32 teams to participate and took the first 8 responses we got. Perhaps it was a matter of scheduling issues with the Patriots, but we had to stick to Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which made it difficult for a lot of teams."

SIRIUS Satellite Radio will air every game of the 2005 NFL preseason live. The Patriots WBCN 104.1 FM radio broadcasts are on SIRIUS, August 12 at 7:30 p.m. on channel 126 at Cincinnati, August 18 at 8:00 p.m. on channel 124 vs. New Orleans, August 26 at 8:00 p.m. on channel 125 at Green Bay and September 1 at 8:00 p.m. on channel 110 vs. the Giants.

Closer to home, "Patriots Video News" begins its nightly Monday-Friday broadcast schedule on Patriots.com. "Patriots Monday" presented by TD Banknorth will begin August 22 from Gillette Stadium.

On CN8's "Sports Pulse" (weeknights at 10:00 p.m.), host Ed Berliner and reporters John Carchedi and Phil Burton will rotate camp coverage including a nightly "Training Camp Notebook."

Says Berliner, "Following each game, preseason and regular season, our first show will feature a 5-6 minute game report, focusing more on the side stories and issues from the game instead of just rehashing the plays themselves."

Berliner will be joined by a bevy of regional football writers including the staff of Patriots Football Weekly, Mike Parente from The Woonsocket Call, Mark Farinella from The Sun Chronicle, Dave Pevear from The Lowell Sun and Tom King from The Nashua Telegraph.

Channel 5 will also have training camp reports and will once again air "Patriots All Access" throughout the season. Boston media icon Mike Lynch hosts the festivities featuring weekly interviews with Bill Belichick and Patriots players. The program airs Saturdays at 7:00 p.m.

Radio records

Sports Radio 850 WEEI has once again outdone itself in terms of ratings. During the recently completed spring ratings book, WEEI ranked first in Boston among total audience (ages 12 and up) with a 6.4 share, the first time that a sports station has won this category.

Another first for WEEI involved the coveted male demographic. The station finished number one with every major male age category. For the fourth time in the last four ratings periods, WEEI also topped the ratings with overall adults ages 25-54.

Individually among men ages 25-54, "Dennis & Callahan" ranked second and "Dale & Holley" finished first. WEEI is also reporting a 32% ratings increase for the midday show over the previous ratings period, the first since Michael Holley came on board. Glenn Ordway's "Big Show" topped the drive time competition for the ninth consecutive ratings book.

The numbers show WEEI's dynamic dominance in Boston among both hardcore and casual sports fans. "This is absolutely a new level of success for us," gushed WEEI director of programming and operations Jason Wolfe. "It's an indication that people aren't just tuning in when the Sox and Patriots are playoff bound. They're listening every day because we're entertaining, we have the most insightful coverage and we consistently deliver A-level guests."

Sporting news

Further down the dial at AM 1510 The Zone, sales manager Tony Palmisano has left the station to take on the role of director of ticket sales for the New England Patriots and New England Revolution.

To replace Palmisano, AM 1510 general manager Mike Winn has added vice president of sales to his duties. Winn will work in conjunction with Sporting News Radio's national sales department. This was Palmisano's second tour of duty with AM 1510.

From 1994-98, Palmisano was an account executive and ran the Celtics and Boston College radio networks at WEEI. He has also served as general sales manager at the FleetCenter, assistant sports director at WFAN in New York and senior account executive at Fox Sports New England.

Ten to Watch

This week marks the debut a new periodic feature in Media Blitz. From time to time, Media Blitz will count down ten media personalities who stand above the crowd in a particular area. With NFL training camp upon us, here are Media Blitz's Ten to Watch local gridiron gabbers.

10. Steve Grogan: The classy Grogan writes and speaks the way he played: tough, methodically and smart. His PatsFans.com columns are a worthwhile read.

9. Tim Fox: Ex-Patriot is a keen analyst of the game and maintains the edge he had as a player.

8. Steve Nelson: Multi-media Pats' Hall of Famer dissects the game with precision and is utterly listenable to the rabid and casual fan alike.

7. Mike Reiss: Metro West writer and regular TV and radio contributor has broken through with his "Reiss' Pieces" blog at BostonHerald.com.

6. Gary Tanguay: A solid host with presence and insight.. He has raised the level of WBCN's coverage by leaps and bounds.

5. Michael Felger: Be it on the pages of the Herald, on WEEI or Fox Sports Net, Felger has the ability to stir the pot and elicit response.

4. Pete Sheppard: On WEEI's "Real Postgame Show," Sheppard sheds the image of Glenn Ordway's whipping boy and incites callers and guests.

3. Paul Perillo: Patriots Football Weekly writer has his finger on the pulse of the Pats, and his knowledge translates well to radio and TV.

2. Tom E. Curran: The best Patriots beat writer in the area and an entertaining and funny TV and radio presence.

1. Steve DeOssie: Articulate and passionate about football. The WEEI and WBZ regular specializes in putting the so-called "experts" who never played the game in their place.

John Molori's columns are published in The Providence Journal, The Boston Metro, The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, The Salem Evening News, The Newburyport Daily News, The Gloucester Times, Patriots Football Weekly, Boston Sports Review, New England Hockey Journal, TheRemyReport.com, PatsFans.com, BostonSportsReview.com, BostonSportsMedia.com, ColdHardFootballFacts.com and MethuenOnline.com. Email John at JOMOL3@aol.com.


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